Why a Robust Data Strategy is the Key to Unlocking AI’s Full Potential

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By TJ
Post Date: 08/18/2023
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Almost every day we hear about new applications around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and the potential of these technologies to unlock hidden insights, automate routine tasks, and enhance workplace experiences. It’s no wonder Gartner recently revealed 79% of corporate strategists see AI and analytics as critical to their success over the next two years.

However, simply jumping into AI without thoughtful strategy often leads to disappointing results. Research from McKinsey shows that high-performing organizations that find success with AI have a clearly defined vision and strategy for these technologies that is tightly linked to broader corporate goals.

The most critical part of any AI strategy is first ensuring a strong data foundation. AI and machine learning models are heavily dependent on quality, well-managed data to produce accurate insights and effective automation. This makes a thoughtful data strategy and information management capabilities essential prerequisites before implementing AI.

At AvePoint, we recognize this need and are well-positioned to help organizations lay the proper groundwork to maximize the value of AI by modernizing, controlling, and applying resilience to their data management practices. With over 20 years of experience as a leader in B2B SaaS data management for the digital workplace – across hybrid, multi-cloud, multi-geo, and data sovereign aware deployments – our technologies and expertise establish the critical data foundation for impactful AI solutions. In this post, we’ll explore why robust data management is so vital for AI success and how the AvePoint Confidence Platform can empower your organization’s journey.

You Can’t Fully Maximize AI and Machine Learning Without a Strong Data Strategy

In conversations with our customers, partners, and industry peers, it is abundantly clear that high-quality, well-governed data is the bedrock for impactful AI. Proprietary data combined with foundational AI models pave the way for unprecedented innovation and personalized customization experiences at scale.

The only way to build a successful AI strategy that unlocks true business value is by first applying an advanced information management approach to that proprietary data.

That means making sure that you have data collated from all your various data repository and sources across your enterprise, and that the data is properly classified, intact, and has the right lifecycle. Many organizations are scrambling to do this today so they can use their own decades’ worth of their domain/business-specific data to form better capabilities and innovation on top of foundational AI models to then drive purposeful outcomes.

This is AvePoint’s bread and butter. As an early Microsoft cloud partner and the most mature SaaS vendor focused on digital workplace data management with over 250 petabytes of data under management on a daily basis, we have been helping organizations control, apply governance, and build resilience into their information for over two decades. In recent years, we have also incorporated powerful machine learning and AI capabilities into our platform. We’ve been a longtime customer of Azure Cognitive Services, for example, in addition to other open-source AI capabilities. This establishes a robust foundation of accurate, reliable data to generate:

  • Powerful insights: We aggregate data across your organization’s cloud and self-hosted systems and use advanced AI to examine it for hidden patterns, trends, and anomalies. This enables the AvePoint Confidence Platform to reveal tailored insights that empower stakeholders with the precise and up-to-date information they need for sharper decision-making.
  • Impactful recommendations: We analyze data to help reduce data clutter by recommending the shedding of ROT (redundant, out-of-date, and trivial) data sets.  In addition, we help detect crucial patterns, trends, and anomalies across your data sets, then generate targeted recommendations that are individually tailored to your needs for intuitive, actionable insights through customizable dashboards and reports. This proactive guidance enables you to make smarter decisions, take preventative action, and more effectively solve problems.
  • Comprehensive protection: We fortify your data’s security through proactive defenses that intelligently classify sensitive information, control access, and vigilantly monitor for warning signs. The AvePoint Confidence Platform’s sophisticated security safeguards organizations against potential threats, reduces the risks of devastating data breaches and puts organizations in the driver’s seat of their data’s protection.

AvePoint’s innovation has already enabled customers to realize tremendous business value, such as rapidly detecting and thwarting ransomware attacks before damage is done, guaranteeing strict enforcement of information access policies so organizations can confidently collaborate both internally and with external third parties, and optimizing the entire lifecycle of their data through robust governance models.

The Power of the AvePoint Confidence Platform for AI-Ready Data

As I shared during our Q2 2023 earnings call, our enhanced Cloud Records solution is one example of our current use of AI.  Our solution offers new, AI-powered content classification capabilities that transform how organizations classify content efficiently, accurately and at scale, reducing the need for manual intervention, saving time and freeing up employees to focus on more strategic tasks.

Using machine learning for content classification is crucial for modern organizations as it allows them to accurately classify large volumes of data – based on its type, topic and context – while improving information governance, compliance and security.

For government agencies like many in Australia who took part in our private preview program, security and data sovereignty are primary concerns. To meet their needs and maintain our commitment to data privacy, our Cloud Records solution processes training models in place, within an organization’s tenant, meaning it does not hold content.

One of those participants, a longtime AvePoint customer, previously migrated one of their data sets from a legacy platform to the cloud but was unable to classify the content correctly because of resource constraints. Our automated intelligence model rapidly identified and classified various types of content and applied the appropriate business rules and lifecycle to meet compliance regulations. Completing this work manually would have taken the agency years; with Cloud Records, our model did so in weeks, yielding a 20x productivity improvement. Beyond productivity gains, the government agency now has better information it can use for more rapid and accurate reporting and decision making to better serve its constituents.

The Future of AI-Powered Solutions from AvePoint

This is only the beginning. AvePoint will continue enhancing our platform’s AI abilities to give organizations the richest, most effective way to manage their digital workplace data. We’ll build on our Cloud Records private preview with predictive archiving to identify potential cost savings and automation opportunities.

We’ll also expand to help organizations fully harness their data strategy to unleash the innovation businesses today need to compete in the digital workplace through effective communication and powering personal productivity.

First, more impactful communication. According to IDC, OECD and Axios data, the cost of ineffective communication adds up to over $15,000 per employee every year. Communicating effectively is vital yet increasingly complex in the modern hybrid workplace. AvePoint will equip leaders to meet this challenge head-on with AI-powered functionality to enhance content and improve communication recommendations, looking across businesses’ digital workplace environment and data to identify patterns, analyze sentiment, and personalize communication strategies tailored to specific preferences, behavior patterns, and content consumption habits of their peers.

Second, personal productivity. Deloitte’s Digital Workplace Reimagined report found the average worker toggles between apps 10 times an hour, which costs their employers 32 days per worker, per year. For businesses to innovate, employees need to have the support and resources to get the information they need – and know the right people to work with – in one place. The next generation of AvePoint MyHub, already one of the highest monthly active usage Microsoft Teams app in the world, powered by AI, will analyze vast amounts of data in order to bring together necessary documents, meetings, people, and other information throughout your digital workplace environment into one place to enhance productivity, reduce context switching, and drive innovation and engagement.

Why Data Management Matters for AI Success

The common thread is leveraging AvePoint’s data management expertise as the launch point to then apply AI in ways that solve specific pain points and empower organizations. As these examples show, AvePoint has a proven track record of innovation combined with unique data management capabilities primed to establish our leadership enabling organizations’ AI success. Our approach starts with building a solid data foundation, then expanding into specialized AI solutions tailored to organizations’ needs.

You’ll hear more from us in the months ahead as we reveal new AI-driven Confidence Platform enhancements that make data insights, recommendations, and protection more accessible across hybrid and cloud deployments. During #shifthappens Conference 2023, our industry event taking place October 10-11 in Washington, DC, our team and other industry leaders will share their experiences, strategies and best practices that define digital workplace transformation.

Ultimately, glossy AI promises mean little without an underlying data strategy. AvePoint recognizes this reality. With over 20 years helping organizations manage their information, we’re ready to partner with you on an intelligent and intentional path to impactful AI that starts with data and ends with unlocking your organization’s full potential.

 

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By TJ

Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) co-founded AvePoint in 2001 and has served as the organization's Chief Executive Officer since 2005. TJ is responsible for overall strategy and direction of AvePoint, which includes product innovation, investor relations, and business development. He is focused on delivering value to customers, partners, shareholders, and the AvePoint team, every day. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.

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